Disclaimer: It all belongs to Kripke.
Author's note: This idea was born after watching a music video on YouTube by Herebutnotremembered, called 'Did you know?'. It's an absolutely amazing video and heartbreaking! So are the rest of this person's videos! If you haven't seen any yet, I suggest you check them out! Each of those videos brings tears to my eyes.
Summary: AU to 'Croatoan'. Dean deals with the aftermath of shooting his brother.
The sound of a gunshot woke him up from a restless sleep. With a shock, he realized the gunshot had come from his dream. It had sounded so real. His body was tangled in the sheets and covered in sweat because of the same nightmare that had plagued him for a week now … Except it was not a nightmare. It were memories.
He sat up in bed and untangled himself from the sheets. He swung his legs over the side of the bed and rested his elbows on his knees, head in his hands. The palms of his hands were pressing into his eyes, desperately trying to push back the tears. His whole body was trembling but he refused to cry. He couldn't be weak.
"You have to shoot me."
Dean shook his head. He moved his hands to his temples, pressing hard against them and hoping that maybe like that the memories would be pushed away.
"When I turn into that, you have to shoot me. Please, it has to be you."
Anger took over and he reached out for the nearest thing which was an empty glass. He flung it towards the nearest wall as hard as he could. The sounds of shattering glass sounded surprisingly hard in the otherwise quiet room. Dean winced.
How could Sam have asked him something like that? The mere thought of having to shoot Sam had torn him apart and had hurt him like nothing else could.
"It's not your brother anymore, the virus has changed him."
Dean had refused to believe it. Sam could never become a killer, no matter what anyone said, no matter what whichever demon had in store for him. Sam could fight it, he was strong, he could fight everything! And Dean would be there to help him fight, would destroy anything that might be a possible threat. He would keep Sam safe. He failed. The one job he had and he failed.
"You have to shoot him before he kills us."
Dean moaned. When his father had told him he might have to kill his little brother, every fiber in his body had been screaming, telling him to tell his father it was wrong, that he couldn't. Instead he had promised while at the same time promising himself that he would never. He couldn't. Perhaps that made him weak but how could anyone expect him to shoot his own brother? The person he cared for more than for anyone else, the one person that knew him better than he knew himself, the one person who put up with him no matter what he did, no matter what a pain in the ass he could be. The only person who understood him, knew what he wanted to say without him having to actually say it.
"Damn it! It's not him anymore! Shoot him or I will!."
"Please, it has to be you."
Dean had remembered Sam's words. He'd known that while it would tear him apart, it was what his brother wanted. And that had won out over his own conflicting emotions, over his own pain, over his own desire to shoot everyone but his brother, over his desire to just let Sam kill him and be done with it all. But then he had realized how unfair that would be. If there was still a little piece of Sam in there, it would kill him completely.
"You're not going to shoot me," Sam taunted. He was tied down but they all knew the restraints wouldn't last long.
Dean pointed the gun, his hand was shaking and his vision started to blur with tears that threatened to fall.
"He's not your brother anymore."Amanda, the doctor, said.
Dean knew she was right but the voices in his head were screaming at him that she was wrong, that he could still save Sam, that he could somehow undo the virus and make it all right. His heart hung onto that but his head knew he couldn't undo it. If he didn't kill Sam, he would kill them and a lot more people. Sam was not a killer, wouldn't want him to let him become one. Sam wanted him to kill him. It was the right thing to do and yet it felt wrong. How could it not?
"Do it," Amanda said gently.
Sam was smiling. Dean searched his eyes for any sign that Sammy was still in there but he found none. Sam's eyes were cold and dark.
He had to shoot him. It would only take one shot, one shot to set Sam's soul free, one shot that would bring his entire world crashing down around him yet again, one shot and he would be truly alone in the world.
His finger tightened around the trigger. He heard the shot before he felt the bullet leave the gun. It seemed to happen in slow motion. Sam's eyes widened just a fraction but enough for Dean to realize there was no fear whatsoever, more like amusement. The bullet tore through the skin right over his heart and red started to blossom on his shirt before Sam's eyes slid closed and his head fell on his chest while the red stain became bigger and bigger.
Dean turned away and dropped the gun, tears streaming down his cheeks. No matter how much he wanted to stop the fall of tears, he couldn't. He walked out of the room, away from his brother's lifeless body, needing to be alone.
It had taken one shot to kill his little brother, one shot to put out the light in his eyes. Sobs wrecked his body and he didn't bother stopping them. Apart from the mind-numbing grief and occasional fits of anger, he had felt nothing over the past week. He had talked to both Ellen and Bobby on the phone, he'd had to tell them. Both had invited him to come over but he hadn't taken either of them up on the offer. How could he face them, knowing he should've tried harder to save his brother? How could he face them, knowing he had killed his own brother?
He'd been on the road for a week, just driving and stopping to sleep. Although sleep was a big word, more often than not he left in the middle of the night, speeding down roads, hoping that he could somehow escape the memories, hoping that he could somehow escape his brother.
When the tears stopped falling and numbness took over, he walked over to the bathroom. The bright light hurt his eyes but they adjusted soon. A glance in the mirror confirmed what he already knew, he looked like crap. The bags under his eyes kept getting bigger and bigger, his face became more pale every day. His eyes looked dull, as if all the life had been drained from them. He had lost weight too, had barely been eating. Could barely keep it down. It wouldn't be long before he crashed, literally or figuratively … or just both.
He splashed some ice cold water in his face, effectively pushing away the sleep. He didn't want to go back to sleep.
He returned to the main room and sat down in one of the chair. He didn't even bother turning on the light, he just let his eyes adjust to the darkness. He could make out the shapes of the furniture, of his messy bed and the one still clean bed. He felt a stab of pain, right where his heart should be. It was one big hole now, empty. Just like he was.
They'd spend so much time together in motel rooms, discussing cases, fighting over silly stuff because they had been together for too long. It seemed so far away, it seemed a life time ago.
Dean closed his eyes briefly. When he opened them again, a shape was moving through the room, towards him. His fighting instinct had died along with Sam. If it was some crazy Supernatural thing, well, then it could come get him now. He was done with it, he wanted an out.
He shape moved closer and he could see features he clearly remembered. He sat upright in the chair, eyes going wide and mouth dropping open.
"Sammy?" he asked, voice cracking as he said his brother's name.
"Dean," Sam replied with a sad smile.
"What … How?"
"You have to move on, Dean," Sam said as he took the chair next to his, Dean's eyes on him all the time, just drinking in the sight of his brother.
"You did what you had to, you did the right thing by killing me." Sam said quietly.
Dean flinched, an expression of pain coming in his eyes. "I should've saved you."
"You couldn't have," Sam said simply.
"I shouldn't have let you go into that room alone, I should have known she was infected."
"How?" Sam asked.
"I … I don't know."
"Exactly," Sam replied. He reached out, placing his hand on Dean's lower arm. "I know it hurts-"
"Do you? I'm the one that's left behind!" Dean cried out angrily.
Sam smiled softly. "You're strong, Dean. You always have been. You will get through this but you can't on your own. There are people who care about you, go to them. But whatever you do, don't give up. Don't stop the fight. You have to go on and find the thing that killed mom and dad."
Dean winced. If only he had left Sam at Stanford. He should've. Sam would still be alive, would still dislike him but at least he would be alive.
"I don't want to, Sammy. I'm tired. I don't want to fight anymore, I don't want to do this. Not alone," Dean shook his head and pushed back the tears that once again threatened to fall. He wasn't going to cry in front of Sam, he wasn't. Sam squeezed his arm.
"You're not alone. I'll always be with you."
Dean laughed humorlessly. "In my mind? In my heart? Not good enough, Sam."
Sam sighed and pulled his hand away. Dean immediately missed the contact, he needed it.
"It's going to have to be. Dad gave his soul for you. Don't you dare die and make it all for nothing."
Dean flinched back as if struck. Maybe if he had died, then maybe his father and Sam would still be alive. It was all his fault, all of it. He had made too many wrong decisions, regarding his father and brother. He'd always thought he was doing the right thing while in reality he'd been doing the wrong thing. He'd brought this on them. It was his own fault, maybe he did deserve to suffer. Maybe he did deserve the pain of having to go through life alone.
He looked at Sam, could pretty much see how it killed him that he was like this.
"I'll keep going," he promised, "I'll find Yellow-eyes and I'll kill him, even if it's the last thing I do." He was surprised at how determined he sounded. For the first time in a week, he felt alive. He wanted revenge.
Sam smiled. "It won't be the last thing you do, I know it won't be. You can do this, you're strong."
"I'm sorry, Sam. For everything." Dean said solemnly.
"You have nothing to be sorry for. You were always there, you always looked out for me. You protected me." Dean snorted. "You did. You're my big brother and I love you. Maybe one day we'll see each other again but that day is far away."
"Sam…" The words remained stuck in his throat.
"I know, Dean, I know. Goodbye."
Dean shot awake, back aching from having fallen asleep in the chair. Sunlight was streaming through the windows.
"Sam," he whispered. His brother was gone but he wasn't really. Dean could sense his presence now, could feel it while before he couldn't. Sam had appeared at exactly the right time. Dean didn't believe for a second that it had only been his subconscious mind playing
tricks on him, he had seen Sam. Sam had talked to him. They had faced weird things so why couldn't this be real?
He felt oddly alive, his eagerness for a fight was back. He was out for revenge. He would finish what his dad had started, what he and Sam started. He would find the thing that was responsible for the death of his family and kill it. After that, well, then he would see.
He grabbed his cell phone and called Bobby. "Bobby? It's Dean, I'm back … I saw Sam … It's difficult to explain … Yeah, I'm going to find yellow-eyes. Do you have something? … Okay, I'm coming over and then we can decide on a plan of action. … Yeah. And Bobby … Thanks." Dean flipped his phone shut and hurried around the room to gather up what little stuff he had brought in with him.
He left the room with a slight smile on his face and went to return the keys. He dropped his bag on the backseat of the Impala and slid in the driver's seat. He pulled out of the parking lot and turned on the radio, turning up the volume. Rays of sunlight beamed down on his skin through the window. It felt warm and pleasant.
For once, he stuck to the speed limit and allowed himself to enjoy the scenery a bit. He didn't feel alone anymore. Sam was still riding shotgun and he always would.
Author's note: The part where Dean sees Sam in his dream is kind of based on real life experiences. My grandma died years ago, she died quickly and I never had the chance to say goodbye. Then one night, I had this dream and we were in this bright white room, it felt oddly peaceful. She was there and we were talking. She said she was proud of me, that she loved me. I got to say goodbye. I woke up crying but I felt kind of … happy and knew she was watching out for me. It's silly and I know it was just a dream but I've always believed it was more than that. Call me crazy.